Tacoma City Council votes today on new Link light rail stations

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote today on a purchase resolution that, if approved, will award a $389,312 contract to Westwater Construction Co. of Auburn to build two new Link light rail stations on Commerce Street between South 11th Street and South 12th Street.

It is the latest development in a plan to build the north- and south-bound stations, which will include 40-foot-long, seven-feet wide platforms, security cameras, and shelter for waiting passengers. On Sept. 14, 2010, Tacoma City Council approved a resolution directing City Manager Eric Anderson to collaborate with Sound Transit to finalize the proposal and seek approval from the Sound Transit Board, and to move forward to secure funds for the project once the design is completed and approved. In turn, On Sept. 23, Sound Transit Board of Directors directed staff to negotiate terms with the City.

Originally, construction was scheduled to begin in January 2011 and be completed by April 2011. Costs related to construction and maintenance are funded through Limited Tax General Obligation bonds.

Currently, there are no stops between South Ninth Street and South 15th Street. Adding a new stop, however, will increase the amount of time it takes for Link to travel between Tacoma Dome Station and Theater District Station from 10 minutes to 12 minutes. The station would also relocate two loading zone stalls on Commerce Street about a half-block away.

Several downtown stakeholders have pushed for a long time for the City and Sound Transit to add another station along the 1.6-mile line.

In September, then-Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President David W. Graybill wrote a letter to councilmembers supporting the stations. “This stop is extremely important to nearby office building tenants and to the overall objective of achieving and maintaining density in the core of the downtown,” wrote Graybill. “It is a project . . . that has merit in our strategies for development and the convenience and availability of transportation options.”

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on the purchase resolution during its meeting on Weds., March 22 at 5 p.m. in Council Chambers, located at 747 Market Street. For a copy of the agenda, click here — http://cms.cityoftacoma.org/cityclerk/Files/CityCouncil/Agendas/2011-FullAgendas/Full20110322.pdf .

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For earlier Tacoma Daily Index coverage, click on the following links:

Artists sought for new downtown Tacoma Link light rail station (02/22/11) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1929332&more=0

Sound Transit board approves new downtown Link station proposal (09/27/10) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1845600&more=0

City Council approves plan for Link light rail station (09/20/10) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1841627&more=0

Plan adds new downtown Link light rail stop by next spring (08/31/10) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1830911&more=0

City Hall presentation Tuesday on new downtown Tacoma Link light rail stop (08/30/10) — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1829842&more=0

City envisions Link light rail station near 11th Street (01/08/10) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1694358&more=0